Sunday, February 21, 2010

God Delights To Surprise

Author:  Susan L. Prince

I can't WAIT to share because God just really showed me His Presence this weekend and not in any HUGE major way, just in small things. When He opens my eyes enough to see Him in the small, it just magnifies His Glory that much more!

Here's the one from Saturday. I am a BIG Jennifer Knapp fan and was excited to see her perform last night at TPAC in Nashville. My friend Katrina and I made arrangements to spend the night in Franklin and visit Grace Chapel church on Sunday morning.

Not only did Jennifer Knapp come onto that stage with only her guitar and God given voice, the chick gave a stellar performance that I enjoyed greatly. What a gift she has and I'm so thankful she is choosing to share it again. (Photo by Knapp Fan David Crenshaw)  

The band, Todd Snider, that she opened for was great, wow they were good, but it was not my kind of music. A bit too country for me, so Katrina and I decided to leave. As God would have it, He timed all that perfect so that I would be able to MEET JENNIFER KNAPP again (I met her once before at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis in 2000) as she stood near her table where the demo CDs were. (I had already pre-ordered her release and had a demo in pocket!) Yes! I got to look in that woman's eye and say "thank you for sharing your music. I saw you perform at The Belcourt last fall and you rocked!" Katrina and I continued to share with her that we had had the chance to talk with her once before ten years ago in Memphis. Anyway, that was a neat treat and did get a couple of pictures with her, so that rocks.

Onto the next part of the story. A few months ago, I received a notice from that I had earned a "free download" of music for being such a great customer. This download was for a full length mp3 album of my choice, but the choice was to come from specific selections and of those I had to choose from were about 800 different albums. I did not want to waste my free album, so I took my time to sample hundreds of CDs over many days and weeks to be sure to choose the perfect one. I'm a music junkie and I am always looking for something new that inspires me, something that stands out from the rest of the mediocrity out there.

I searched and searched all of the rock titles and the Christian rock titles. I am a "rock 'n' roller"! I love rock music! Hard rock music! I had fun going through some old tunes from back in the day and stuff but then after days of deliberation and frustration that nothing was jumping out I came upon a CD called "Heaven on Earth" - Covenant Worship with Nicole and David Binion. Never heard of them? Neither had I, until I sampled their music. This is NOT music I am naturally drawn to, but something about this particular one captured my attention and I ended up downloading this as my "free mp3 album". Normally I'd find music from Disciple, DecembeRadio, Switchfoot, or Skillet or some band like that. Choosing a praise and worship CD is highly unlikely, but God led me to it.

I was so excited about this music and I listened to the album over and over. I shared it with a couple of friends who like exactly this type of worship music, but both were very surprised that I LIKED IT! LOL Anyway, the music pierces my heart with words of truth and just plain good music. God becomes real to me through it. You know how good music can be?

Now, moving on. Jennifer Knapp was lot of fun, but hardly compares to the experience today. Grace Chapel is a huge church, but it is often packed and difficult to find a seat. We made sure to arrive early, so after breakfast in a nifty place called Country Boy restaurant in Leiper's Fork, we made our way to the church and found a seat. This church offers communion each week before each service for anybody wanting to partake. A prayer is said, people go up to get the elements, return to their seat, quietly meditate/pray or whatever and take of the bread and blood. As I watched people do this, I noticed that I recognized one woman walking up the aisle and took a seat directly behind me. Didn't think too much of it, people sometimes look alike, you know?

Soon, the praise and worship music started and it was so uplifting as it always is there. (Amazing musicians and music!) I heard a female voice accompanying worship that sounded familiar to me, but I've listened to the Grace Chapel stuff online a few times, so that explained away the familiarity.

As the music and worship continued, I was getting into the music. Then I heard a familiar male voice and thought naaaah, can't be. Worship continued and then I heard a SONG I KNOW VERY WELL! I turned to Katrina and said "no way!" and she said "oh, they do this song all the time", so I was kind of crushed because I thought I had figured out why I was so familiar with the voices and the song. But, then the woman next to me, a Grace Chapel member, got my attention and asked "who are those people? I have never seen them here before." and then I KNEW. MY HUNCH WAS CORRECT! Get this: I said "I know who they are, Binion is the name. David Binion, but I forget his wife's name." So, worship really took off now because they taught the song "Heaven and Earth" to the church, in parts (which was cool) and everyone could then belt it out to the Lord! Woohooo! I was so taken aback that God had given me such an awesome revelation that He is ever present! MAN! I started thinking what are the chances? what are the chances? 

What are the chances that I would land on THAT one album of worship music (out of my normal character to purchase),after spending DAYS and weeks poring over 800 selections that I had to choose from, only to visit a church that I live two and a half hours from, and to have the ARTISTS of that album that has been such a blessing to me, leading worship today!?!?!??!?!?!???????????


I was totally blown off the planet by that one! Meet Jennifer Knapp, now this? WOW!

Then, the message for the service was fantastic about being spiritually blind and how we are to be used in the recovery of sight for the blind. Mind blowing stuff from Pastor Steve today, convicting...but that's for another day.

After the service, I went over to the Binion's and thanked them for leading worship and sharing with us today. I shared my story of how I came upon their CD and they thought it was so cool, and seemed surprised in a way. I also shared about the surprise God gave me that I live 2.5 hours away and was only in town visiting Grace Chapel and that the people responsible for that awesome worship CD that has been edifying me for months were here live and in person to lead the music! WOW WOW WOW! Nicole said "It is amazing what God does, my name is Nicole, what is yours?" and we talked a bit more until I excused myself to go wait for Katrina back at my seat.

As I was sitting there I saw that woman I had seen earlier that I recognized. Not being totally sure of who she was I just kind of observed, and then I heard her speak while she talked to a person about the amazing message she heard. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew who it was and that I was right. Kathy Troccoli was seated behind me worshipping at Grace Chapel today. How cool is that?

Anyway, God totally blessed my time with Katie this weekend and I am ever so grateful. He also went above and beyond and put a couple of exclamation points on the days! Woohooo! God is good! :)

Seeing Jennifer Knapp and being able to talk with her is not any monumental thing in life, but it was special to me.  It was nothing God had to do for me.  It didn't really grow me spiritually, but I believe God took pleasure surprising me with that, knowing full well I would enjoy it.

Worshiping with David and Nicole Binion at Grace Chapel today was quite a surprise and very special to me.  Their songs have helped me reach a place of intimacy with God over the past couple of months that I don't often experience.   I was able to worship God in a deep way today because I knew He delighted in surprising me.

My time with Katie was blessed as well.  Two friends and sisters in Christ that have experienced so much together, but are now living lives completely different than they were a year ago.  God is delighting in growing the both of us in Him, and He delights in surprising us.

He Bloggles the mind.


  1. Hi friend, peace...

    Your blog very interesting.
    But I have some questions for you:

    First, why were you believe that Jesus is your God? Would you have evidence that Jesus is God? Or that is only your faith? What do you mean about “Jesus is God”? Does this mean have not same with mean “God of the Universe”? Or that is only mean “man as God”, like ancient Egypt peoples call Pharaoh as God?

    Second, what do you response? If you know that the “God” which attribute on Jesus is created by Constantine (the Roman Emperor at 325 AC) and the leaders of Christians in Nicea Counsel on 325 AC (After Christ). In this councel, Constantine made huge changes in the faith, like “Jesus is Son of God”, and “Jesus is God”. The Emperor Constantine took “Jesus Conception” from Apollo, the son of the Greek God (Zeus). At the counsel of Nicea in 325 AC, the New Testament Cannon was changed. The writings of the New Testament were changed to be the books used by the church since Jesus they call God (Jesus is Son of God, Jesus is God).

    Third, how about this informations? Nowhere in the Bible is the day of worship changed from Saturday to Sunday. This change was not made by the Almighty, but by the Roman Church. Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. There are many similarities between the pagan god of Christ and the Christian version of Jesus. For example, Greek mythology tells of Christ bring born to the virgin Isis on December 25.

    Fourth, how about this information? God is Allah, the One and Only. Allah is God, on whom all depend. Allah begets not, and nor begotten; and none is like Allah (The Holy Qur’an 112:1-4).

    Thanks for you answer.
    I hope we can be friend, although we have different perspective.
    If you willing visit my blog, and read my article at
    And... if you love books, don’t forget to read The Holy Qur'an please...

  2. Hello and thank you for visiting and for asking these questions that I will attempt to answer. You are correct, we do have a different perspectives.

    Jesus is the One and Only God because I believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God. In it Jesus calls Himself God and says "I am the truth". Jesus Christ was unique in every way and no other world teacher has claimed to be God, nor have they had the influence on the world as Jesus has. The Holy Scriptures are full of prophecy and Jesus Christ fulfilled every single prophecy about Himself, except for His return which all Christians await.

    I believe the One True God is a trinity, or three persons in one, the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the trinity is co-equal in divine nature but distinct in personhood. It is all very mysterious and hard to explain, but Jesus said "I and Heare One". Many agree that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, therefore if He lived perfectly, He did not lie. Jesus said He was God and was obedient to death on a cross. His miraculous resurrection from the dead proves His divinity.

    I also have a personal relationship with Jesus. I grew up not knowing that this was possible, but one day God revealed Himself to me in a miraculous, beautiful way. When this happened, my life was changed and God became so very real to me. God gave me the gift of faith to believe. When I believed, the Holy Scriptures became so alive to me.

    I can't answer to the specifics as to all the history and details surrounding Constantine and the Counsel of Nicea, but I do know the Counsel ultimately agreed with New Testament gospels that say that Jesus is the one true God. The Counsel of Nicea didn’t debate the divinity of Jesus, that was considered a given, although I know that this fact is challenged a lot by skeptics. It was not even discussed at Nicea. The Counsel came together to examine ‘Eternity’ and eternal nature of Jesus, and they concluded that there is a co-eternal relationship between the Father & the Son, Jesus. Constantine, and the Counsel of Nicea had virtually nothing to do with the forming of the canon, but conspiracy theorists and people who like to stir up drama tell interesting tales and rumors about all that. But, again, I am not a historian and only know the basics, not the deep details of all of that.

    As for a day of worship, the Bible encourages worship every day, but the Sabbath means a day of rest. God set the pattern for this in creation and yes, it was originally set after six days of work. However, New Testament believers are not under the Old Testament law. Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week (Sunday). Christians celebrate Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit descended, which was on the first day of the week, on a Sunday, as well. This just became a pattern to rest and worship God on the first day of the week. Also, one thing that Jesus railed against was strict legalism or following the letter of the law, and then losing the intent of why the law exists. What this means is that it is not about which day we worship, it is that we do take a day and devote it to God.

  3. Sue,

    I couldn't agree with you more. One thing I would like to say in addition to your tesimony about how God became real and the scriptures became that the God of the Bible desires to have a relationship with us and when we do come to that place where we are given faith to believer, and we accept that gift...everything changes. Nothing is the same..the way we think, act, speak, all becomes about Him because His Spirit DOES come and live in us just like the Bible says. His Spirit DOES reveal the truth of the Word as it comes alive like never before. It is a miracle that I cannot put into words. I only know that the words in the Holy Bible are God's because He speaks to me through them. I see Him and feel Him and Know Him in every moment, in every decision every day.

    None of that was my story before the moment I believed and gave my heart to Christ. I know He loves me and I know His Holy Spirit is ALIVE in me and I have been changed forever...and He continues to change me and make me daily more into His likeness.

    I know that nobody, nothing, can take away what He has given me...or make me believe that God's Spirit is not alive and active in me and in my life....because He is.

    I can say the sun doesn't rise every day...I can try to make others believe...that will not stop the sun from coming up.

  4. So sad about Jennifer. I pray God will bring her back into grace.

  5. I know. At least when I hear one of her songs, or see her picture, I am reminded to pray for her.

    I often wonder if she prays her own prayers, her own songs?